Alcohol & Its Effects
Alcohol abuse is perhaps one of the biggest social and health concerns today. An alcohol-abuse disorder is defined as "problem drinking that affects a person's social, economic, or physical wellbeing."
The destructive effects on families and relationships, and the social consequences are well known. Children are often most severely affected, as they may be subject to abuse or neglect due to having alcoholic parents.
Alcohol affects the user's ability to perceive, integrate and process information. This distortion in the user's thinking does not cause violence but may increase the risk that they will misinterpret one's behaviour.
Research indicates that a large quantity of alcohol, or any quantity can increase the user's sense of personal power. An increased sense of power and control can, in turn, make it more likely that an abuser will attempt to exercise that power and control over another.
Violence may be triggered by conflict over alcohol use or in the process of obtaining and using substances, particularly illegal drugs. Research indicates that there may be a correlation between the risk of domestic violence and certain personality characteristics. For example, alcohol abuse may increase the risk of violence in men who think abusing women is appropriate and are also under socio economic hardship.
While the causes of problem-drinking are complex and not well understood, medical experts agree that heredity plays a major part, having a parent who has an alcohol problem increases one's likelihood of developing the disease. Many young people nowadays are in fact continuing this trend.
People take to drinking for many reasons such as:
– To relieve stress
– Boredom/ Curiosity
– Peer pressure
– Family influences
– History of abuse/ trauma
Physically, alcohol weakens our entire immune system, making flus, infections and diseases easier to obtain and harder to rid. The mental effects of alcohol consumption are just as many and as serious as the physical ones. Alcohol flows through many pathways in the brain which results in disruptions and impairments in thought, behaviour, communication, judgement, coordination, concentration and memory. Alcohol is classified as a depressant drug which means, just as it sounds, that it physically depresses our nervous system. This 'physical depression' causes many people to believe that alcohol eases stress and anxiety when in the long run, it does just the opposite.
So the question is, how can those who drink remove this horrible thing from their life? To first fix something, we must accept that it is wrong and that it needs to be corrected. We need to educate ourselves on it. Understand that alcohol is a drug. People tend to forget this because of its legal status, but it is as it has a physiological effect, meaning it alters our mood, thoughts and behaviour. Think about why you drink alcohol and what you can do to replace it. Try to seek help by perhaps going to a nearby health centre. With a little bit of effort, this too can be overcome.
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